No. 10 Wildcats hand 49ers third straight loss
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 01:11
Arizona’s offense proved too much for the ‘Niners to handle as the Long Beach State men’s basketball team fell to the tenth-ranked Wildcats, 92-74 on Monday night at the McKale Center.
LBSU (1-3) suffered its third straight loss while Arizona (3-0) remained undefeated in the early stages of its season. Head coach Dan Monson attributed the loss to a poor defensive showing by the 49ers.
“Defensively, we were just a nightmare tonight,” he said. “We have to go back to square one.”
The Beach trailed by 22 in the first half before rattling-off a 10-0 run sparked by 3-pointers from James Ennis and Peter Pappageorge. The run eventually helped the 49ers pull to within 13 at the break.
Solid play from Pappageorge, Kris Gulley and Dan Jennings kept the game within reach into the second frame, but the Wildcats had an answer and then some for every 49er run.
Pappageorge tallied a career-high 16 points while connecting on four out of six three-point attempts. Gulley added 12 points, three rebounds and an assist.
The Wildcats came out firing in the second half and eventually built a 30-point advantage at 80-50. LBSU shaved eight points off its deficit by the end of the game but couldn’t get much going against a lineup that featured a 7-foot-tall center and four other players topping out above 6-foot-7.
“Arizona’s length and size bothered us both on the frontcourt and backcourt,” Monson said.
The ‘Niners were able to connect on 14 shots from three-point range on 32 attempts, but the fact that the team only put up 24 shots from inside the line may become a concern moving forward.
Arizona’s Brandon Ashley dominated The Beach with 20 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and a steal in his first collegiate start. The freshman forward shot the lights out, converting all six of his field goal attempts and eight of nine free throws.
Senior guard Kevin Parrom provided more scoring punch off the bench with 15 points. He didn’t miss on five attempts from 3-point range.
Solomon Hill also scored 15 for Arizona. The senior forward connected on just two field goal attempts but was able to knock down 11 free throws in as many tries.
Free throws were a huge factor in the contest as the Wildcats (25-35) outscored the 49ers (10-13) by 15 at the line.
Ennis, who was missing from the starting lineup for the first time this season, paced The Beach with 17 points and seven rebounds on six of twelve shooting coming off the bench.
Sophomore point guard Mike Caffey, who has averaged 13 points per game on the season, was held scoreless for the first 34 minutes. A lone 3-pointer would prove to be his only scratch on the night, but he did contribute a game-high seven assists. He also held opposing point guard Mark Lyons to just four points on the night.
“I think Mark Lyons affected us especially,” Monson said. “I thought Mike Caffey did a good job on Mark, but I thought we really struggled without Mike [Caffey]. We were down one point guard, and he made it difficult for [Lyons].”
The Beach returns to the court Sunday when it travels to Fresno State for a contest with the Bulldogs at 1 p.m.